The stories of Under Water, told by eight different female narrators, are taken straight from life. They revolve around relationships with all their ups and even more of their downs, and around life, love and losses. The atmosphere in these stories sizzles and crackles, it grinds and crumbles, and eventually, whole worlds are upended, in details as well as in the bigger picture.
These stories are about wriggling out of complicated, desperate situations but also about capturing specific moments of life. Whether it is emotional and physical wounds that make a couple’s life unbearable, diseases that unhinge the foundations of a relationship or natural disasters that take decisions out of the protagonist’s hands – Gregor manages to convey her messages with an outstanding sense for moods. She modulates her tone with masterful precision, creates different notions of silence and cold, of outbursts and evasion, of longing hopes and sorrow. By gently entering the emotional worlds of her protagonists, Gregor makes us suffer with them or reject them, but unfailingly rouses our empathy – which is a sign of true art.
Shortlist Alpha-Literaturpreis 2018
»This book outshines a lot of other books of contemporary Austrian fiction. Under Water combines a dense content and precise language in a way that’s rare nowadays.« (Cornelius Hell, ex libris)
»It’s fantastic how Gregor raises the dosage, her tone stays dry and objective, but gets more evil from story to story, and this goes on and on and on.« (Sebastian Fasthuber, falter)
»Gregor’s shortstories catch the particular feelings precisely.« (Alexander Wagner, fm4)
»Susanne Greogors psychological sensitive stories deal with closeness and distance.« (Miriam Mairgünther, Buchkultur)